Receives national parks honor The National Park Service (NPS) announced Paul Hedren, Superintendent of the Missouri National Recreational River and the Niobrara National Scenic River, as one of the recipients of the 2004 Director's Award for Natural Resource Stewardship for excellence in the field of natural resources on March 15, 2005. These awards recognize achievements in protecting the health of ecosystems in the parks. Recipients of the 2004 awards have developed and strengthened the partnerships for the protection of resources.
In his nomination it was noted that "Paul Hedren has demonstrated leadership and a commitment toward excellence in accomplishing the National Park Service mission while dealing with significant environmental challenges on the Missouri National Recreational River and Niobrara National Scenic River. Numerous natural and cultural resource issues, several complex federal environmental protection laws, coordination with a multitude of agencies and individuals, and understanding of the economic and social concerns voiced by a variety of stakeholder interests make day to day challenges extremely complex."
"Paul seeks reasonable solutions based on law, policy, and science, all the while holding consistently to his convictions on behalf of the agency, the resource, and his public trust responsibilities. Such a position requires fortitude, commitment, and above all, leadership in environmental stewardship. That is the type of passion and environmental stewardship that has helped spawn this agency, and which will be necessary to successfully carry the National Park Service into the future."
The award was presented to Paul by Dr. Michael Soukup, Associate Director for Natural Resource Stewardship and Science, at the George Wright Society Conference recently held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.